With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Rufus Wainwright – York Barbican Wednesday 21st November 2012 November 22, 2012


Teddy Thompson, Adam Cohen and Rufus Wainwright on the same bill. Could this be the greatest ever offspring of famous musical fathers and mothers show? Yes it could be and it probably was. How do I know? Because I was there at the Barbican in York on Wednesday night.

Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda Thompson took to the stage first armed with just his acoustic guitar. He is a real troubadour with great style, great songs and a superb dry wit. In my opinion an inspired choice to support Rufus. Incidentally Teddy is also a member of Mister Wainwright’s band.

Adams Cohen son of Leonard Cohen is a very talented showman indeed. He has clearly invented the great song writing gene from his Dad. He also did a rather amusing ‘guess whose son I am thread between songs. In fact the between song banter was intelligent and humorous. Especially the Celine Dion and George Michael references. All of this helped him achieve great rapport with and support from the audience. But what cemented that was the songs; his own compositions are truly special and he also interprets his father’s material very well too. Adam’s “I Love You” (I think that may be the title) is a stupendous song that ought to become a classic. I would definitely go and see Mr Cohen Junior again.

Rufus Wainwright, son of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle is a true showman with undoubtedly one of the best voices of his generation. I have heard him described as the gayest man on the planet. I’m not sure how you measure that, but he is certainly one of the campest. His stage clothes look like they came from Rupert The Bear’s wardrobe. I have loved his music since I first acquired a copy of his ‘Want One’ album so I was really looking forward to his show and believe me I wasn’t disappointed. He and his band were on stage for around an hour and forty minutes in which they performed new stuff, old stuff and a cover of one of his Dad’s songs which was shared equally among the whole band. He also gave the spotlight to a couple of band members too. He played one of my favourites in “Going To A Town” as well.

But he saved the best until last. After Rufus and the band left the stage we were waiting in anticipation for the usual type of encore. But what happened transcended any other encore I have seen before. Some of the band came back on stage dressed in their best funk and soul brother outfits and were followed by a musclebound Cupid, who proceeded to whip the crowd into a dance frenzy of mega proportions. Well ok he get everyone on their feet at least. We were all stomping and clapping for the return of the newly anointed Rufus Apollo who appeared from the back of the auditorium wearing a toga like outfit a mask and a blonde wig. He and Cupid started some of the crowd in a conga and lead them onto the stage. Rufus and the band then closed proceedings with a barnstorming version of the truly wonderful “Gay Messiah”. This Rufus bloke knows how to put on a good show and a great party, I order you to go and see him. Don’t delay get out and buy your tickets now!

Please note that none of the pictures and clips are from the show at the Barbican, I was enjoying the show way too much to get my camera out!

 

“When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on” October 3, 2010


A recent survey undertaken by PRS for Music sought to discover the songs that make us men cry. A total of 1,700 men were polled and the results make somewhat interesting reading I think. The top ten is shown below, with a few comments from me. Click here to read a report on the results in the UK free newspaper, the Metro.

1. Everybody Hurts – REM – A great REM song taken from the classic ‘Automatic For The People‘ album. It was written by drummer Bill Berry, although he didn’t play drums on the track, that was done by a drum machine. He also said that the song was aimed at teenagers. In 2006 the song was voted 4th in a poll by Channel 5 to discover ‘Britain Favourite Break Up Songs’
2. Tears in HeavenEric Clapton – A very sad song in many ways. Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991. The boy fell from the window of a friend’s apartment in New York
3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Now this one is a classic and has been covered by many artists. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke reached number one in the UK with, at best a very mediocre working of the song and at its worst would easily make music purists cry. In my opinion the best version is easily that of the late, great Jeff Buckley and that version can indeed bring tears to my eyes
4. Nothing Compares 2 USinead O’Connor – She will always have my respect for tearing up a photo of the pope on US TV, I bet that made a few people cry with rage though. It reached number one in the UK in 1990. The song is actually a cover version of a song written by his royal purpleness, Prince. It was recorded and released by the Family in 1985, this was simply a vehicle to enable Prince to release more of his material.
5. With or Without YouU2 – This was the first single from ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987 and became their first US number one song.
6. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve – This was the band’s most successful UK single and reached number one in 1997, having been released the day after Princess Diana died. It was written by lead singer Richard Ashcroft about his own drug habit and also about the death of his father.
7. Candle In The WindElton John – I really do prefer the original version of this song, it was about Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ However, sadly, in my opinion, the version that most people remember is the rewritten version for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, although in its defence it did raise millions for charity. Incidentally I reckon that must be the first time Princess Diana has been mentioned more than once in any of my posts.
8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen – Bruce wrote this for the first mainstream movie to tackle HIV/ AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ from 1993. The song won the best original song Oscar. It reached number one in many countries, although not in the US or UK. It has also been known to occasionally open my tear ducts too.
9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan – whilst the article lists the Todd Duncan version, which was taken from the 1955 prison film; ‘Unchained’ it is probably the Righteous Brothers version that most people know. That version was recorded in the sixties but became a massive hit again when it was used in the 1990 film ‘Ghost’. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists including, Jimmy Young, Elvis Presley, the Supremes, U2, the Smashing Pumpkins and there was also an excruciatingly bad version by Pop Idol muppet Gareth Gates.
10. AngelsRobbie Williams – As regular readers of this blog know, I am definitely not a Robbie fan and I particularly dislike this song. I really don’t get it, I mean “I’m loving angels instead”? Instead of what exactly?

There are a few songs that can make me blub, many by Johnny Nash, Bob Marley and Jeff Buckley. But perhaps the one that does it the most is “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. It was always my Dad’s favourite song and we played it as his funeral back in 2001. What songs make you cry?

Finally let me finish with a classic video for one of my favourite songs about crying. It’s “Cry” by Godley and Creme

 

“They’re singing Deck The Halls, but it’s not like Christmas at all” December 24, 2009


I thought I would share with you a little project I undertook on Facebook during December. I called it my Advent Calendar of Uncovered Cover Versions. It is repeated here exactly as it appeared daily on my Facebook pages. I hope that my regular Blog readers enjoy it and that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2010

December 1st

OK so the advent calendar is all about uncovering something good each day leading to Christmas right? So Ithought I would try to do something slightly related and try and post a cover version each day until Christmas. Starting today 1st December with Patti Smith’s version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit

December 2nd

December 2nd of my advent uncovered cover versions project (did you like yesterdays?) Todays is Florence and the Machine with an excellent cover of the Source featuring Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love“…….. enjoy!

December 3rd

and so on to Day 3 of my under the cover versions advent project. The top tune for today is a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’ by the rather talented Richard Thompson. What do you think of it?

December 4th

Day 4 (December 4th) of the Advent Calender uncovered cover versions project (or obsession) of mine 🙂 Under the little cardboard flap today you won’t find some cheap and bland chocolate. Instead you will find Jimi Hendrix playing what in my opinion is the greatest cover version of all time. It’s Jimi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” recorded at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 … enjoy!

 December 5th

 It’s December 5th and here is Day 5 in my advent uncovered cover versions project. This one is a real doozy! It’s Richard Cheese covering the rather spiffing Blink182 song “What’s My Age Again?” I love this one, what do you think?

 December 6th

 December 6th and day 6 of my Advent oncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Suzi Quatro with an Elvis classic “All Shook Up” . I chose this one because it is even in the news today. Check the story here

 December 7th

 It’s December 7th and therefore Day 7 of my Advent uncovered cover versions. Today’s is a bit obvious, but nonetheless a great cover. It’s Jacko’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as done by the fantastically named Alien Ant Farm

 December 8th

 It’s December 8th and therfore Day 8 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Covers project. Today’s was an easy choice really. On the 29th anniversary of his death this is John Lennon with a great cover of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” I love this song

 December 9th

 Hello again peeps, it’s the 9th December which brings us to song number 9 in my Advent Calendar uncovered cover versions. Todays is a bit of an indulgent one in that it is a cover of the excellent Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” by my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. Enjoy!

 December 10th

 Hello folks. December 10th and obviously day 10 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Todays is one of my favourite songs as covered by my favourite band ever! It’s the Clash with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves

 December 11th

 It’s Friday December 11th and therefore it’s Day 11 in the Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Me First And The Gimmee Gimmees (and let’s face it no covers project would be complete without them). This is their version of the Olivia Newton John hit written by John Denver “Take Me Home Country Roads” By the way this is NOT a country version!

 December 12th

 December 12th and halfway through Advent calendar time, so onto Day 12 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is a must have as far as cover versions go. It’s Nouvelle Vague with an excellent cover of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart“. Enjoy

 December 13th

 December 13th and the thirteenth cover version of my Advent Uncovered Covers Project. Today’s is one of my most favourite cover versions ever. It’s the late, great Jeff Buckley with a live version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (You may know it as the one that was somewhat massacred by Alexandra Burke last Christmas courtesy of Mr Cowell! This version really is the dog’s testicles though, what do you think?

 December 14th

 December 14th and strangely enough Day 14 of my uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is sung by someone who in my opinion the greatest female singer ever (very sexy too). Yes it’s Kate Bush with her version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing

 December 15th

 Day 15 in my Advent Calendar of uncovered cover versions. Todays is perhaps one of the strangest. It is the Deep Purple Classic “Smoke On Water” a true guitar shop classic as played by Senor Coconut and his Orchestra. Go on give it a listen, you know you want to 🙂

 December 16th

 Day 16 of the Advent uncovered cover versions project and today is a song that many people often don’t realise is a cover. It’s the Beatles with their excellent version of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout“. Listen to this and you’ll see just how weak Olly Murs version from the X Factor was!

 December 17th

 It’s already Day 17 in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions project. Today’s song is performed by the Section Quartet and it’s a great instrumental orchestral cover of the brilliant Muse song “Time Is Running Out

 December 18th

 Day 18 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project and I thought it was about time for a Christmas song. This is a cover of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for a whole myriad of charities and it features some brilliant bands and artists (well in my opinion) Fucked Up, Tegan & Sarah, Bob Mould, the wonderful Yo La Tengo and many, many more 🙂

 December 19th

 Day 19 of my Advent uncovered cover versions and thanks to the inclement weather I nearly missed this one (but more of that story another day!). Todays song may surprise some of you. It’s Marvin Gaye with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was in fact a cover of the original hit by Gladys Knight. Personally I prefer Marvin’s version!

 December 20th

 It’s now Day 20 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions project. This one is especially for the boys at Chris’ 50th last night (so that’ll be me, Glen, Neil, Phil and obviously Chris! Apologies from Bryan and Keith sadly!) The song goes back to the mid 70’s and was originally done by the Glitter Band. It’s “Let’s Get Together Again as recorded and mixed by the Human League. If you’d like to hear the original here it is

 December 21st

 And on to Day 21 (that’ll be 21st December then!) in my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s song is the Oasis classic “Wonderwall” as sung by the brilliant Ryan Adams (not Bryan ok!!) Apparently Noel Gallagher thinks that Ryan’s arrangement is even better than his own. For the hell of it here is the link to the Mike Flowers Pops version too!

December 22nd

Day 22 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions Project and there will be more Christmas songs included but not today. The selection for December 22nd is the Foo Fighters with a cover of the rather good Wings song “Band On The Run

December 23rd

Day 23 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project, that means just one more day after this! So I decided to make today and tomorrow Christmas songs as the big Chrimbo thingy is upon us. Obviously I was always going to use this one. It’s “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby and David Bowie

December 24th

It’s Christmas Eve and here it is, the final song in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project (until next year anyway!) It is a song that originally featured on the Phil Spector Christmas Album from 1963 (Incidentally that album was released the day JFK was killed!) It is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that Santa brings you what you wish for Joriginally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings you what you wish for 🙂

 

“nothing more, nothing less, love is the best!” February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine’s day good people and before we start the proceedings with a classic love song here’s a useless but interesting fact. UK singer Dickie Valentine, in spite of his name, had no hits about this wonderful day for lovers, but he did have three Christmas hits in the UK charts during the early 50s. So tell me did you all remember to do something nice for your partner/ lover/ cousin (Arkansas only!)/ Sheep (New Zealand/ Wales only)? Either way, have a great day and to kick things off here are Madness with a superb love song “It Must Be Love“. You can hear the original version of the song if you click on Labi Siffre’s name too

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

Mr Labi Siffre

Mr Labi Siffre

So enough of the love stuff (or maybe not!) and on to the birthdays. Today would have been the 62nd birthday of the late great (l & g’s here they come again) Tim Buckley who died of a morphine and heroin overdose in 1975. Sadly his son Jeff Buckley also died young after wading into the Mississippi for a swim during the recording of his second album in 1997. If you’re a fan of the UK band Starsailor you probably already know that they named themselves after Tim Buckley’s 1970 album “Starsailor”, prior to that they were known as Waterface. I’m not a fan, but the new name is so much better. Check out Tim singing his absolute classic “Song To The Siren” Click on the song title to hear Jeff’s version of the great Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” recently a big hit again in the UK, sadly somewhat surpassed by the Alexandra Burke version. Three of Tim Buckley’s albums feature in the book ‘1001 albums to hear before you die’ Tim quit the music business for a year in 1972 and worked as a chauffer and a taxi driver. That same year he also made a cameo appearance in the movie “Why?” with none other than that nice bloke everybody loves……… OJ Simpson
The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The final birthday for today is that of Kenny Hyslop who is 58 today. Pardon me? Did you say who the hell is Kenny Hyslop? Aaah I see, well ok then, Mr Hyslop is a drummer and found fame with numerous beat combos including Slik (of whom more later) The Skids and Simple Minds. Kenny’s first step in the music biz ladder was to join the band ‘Salvation’ with one Midge Ure, remember him? Anyway that band later became ‘Slik’ and here they are performing their UK number one from 1976, “Forever and Ever” NOT a cover of the Demis Roussos song but strangely sounding very similar to the Bay City Rollers in my opinion. This was back in the days when Midge had hair, but let’s be fair, even I did then!
Slik - Midge Ure is top left

Slik - Midge Ure is top left

back to the usual On This day format again now and on February 14th 1970 the Who recorded the excellent album “Live At Leeds” at Leeds University in the UK. A bit of an obvious title, but it does what it says on the tin and is one of my favourite live albums. Have a listen to the live version of “Substitute” from that very album. A few weeks before that recording, in January 1970 Keith Moon accidentally ran over and killed his chauffeur, Neil Boland while trying to escape from a gang of skinheads outside a club in Hatfield, Herts in the UK. Keith was famously a non-driver, I guess that proves why!
The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

Also on this day in 1977 singer songwriter Janis Ian received 461 Valentine Cards after fans took to heart the comment in her excellent song “At Seventeen” where she claimed she had never received any. As usual click the song title to hear the song
Janis Ian

Janis Ian

Love really must have been in the air when the then very much in the closet Elton John married recording engineer Renate Blauer…. a woman! as you’d expect it didn’t last too long and Elton is now very much ‘out’ and famously gay. Incidentally you may know that he used to be called Reginald Dwight, but did you know that his real name now is in fact Elton Hercules John. The Hercules picked from the old UK sitcom, ‘Steptoe and Son’ where the loveable old cart horse was called ironically, ‘Hercules’. So there we have it, an Elton John Valentine tale, so what better song to celebrate it with than Elton’s very own “Kiss The Bride
Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........<groan!>

Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........

And for no other reason than that it is a truly awsome pic that someone sent me yesterday let’s end with a Star Wars picture. What do you think of it?
can you feel the force Luke?

can you feel the force Luke?

 

 
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